For the last three weeks my mother has been very ill. She teeters at the doorway of death, bouncing back and forth in a hellish nightmare of passing out, blacking out, and sick sinking feelings as if her body were shutting down. For at least 40 hours straight her pacemaker recorded her heart in atrial fibrillation. And it continues. Yet through it all, my mother’s love has taught me rich lessons in God’s love.
As I’ve watched my mother (and father) endure this experience with more grace and faith than one can imagine, I have naturally been emotional. Many of those emotions I have not wanted to explore because I have not wanted to even entertain the thought of her not being in this mortal realm with us any longer. Tears well in my eyes at the mere thought, and I am not one who enjoys caving to tears.
Last night, I woke up around midnight and had a very frank conversation with God. Watching my mother suffer continually is heartbreaking. I wish her to be healed and to stay with us longer. I want her suffering to end — and end NOW. But I want her here with me.
About a week ago I committed to a challenge of praying “Thy will be done” and expecting good outcomes. Because of this, I had to entertain for a moment that His will might be to release her from this earth life which has caused her so much worry and ill health. God might want to take her home to Him where she can live in ultimate joy, without worries, concerns, fear or pain of any kind.
The thought of my mother experiencing the splendor and peace of celestial realms brought tears of joy because I KNOW, I KNOW without any doubt that is where she will be.
The flickering thought has occurred to me more than once that having my angel mother in heavenly realms could work to my advantage. Yes, I push that aside because it’s just horrible to admit.
Throughout my life that selfless woman has run to my aid, cheered my smallest endeavor, given me her last $20, and showed up at my door with the exact thing I needed (without me having to mention it). She would move heaven and earth to assist me. I feel as if I could have no greater advocate on the other side of the veil than my angel mother.
Yet, even with that flicker of a thought, I feel guilty. And then I feel how much more I want her here in this world with me — giving me sage advice, listening, sharing, and loving. Her love and my father’s love overwhelm me. I feel so much love from these earthly parents God has given me. There are few people I feel that kind of love from, and it is a slice of heaven on earth. I do not know if I can exist without that love. It sustains, nourishes and rejuvenates me.
Then, in the dark hours of the night as I poured out my thoughts to my Father in Heaven, I realized that I do not trust Him or my Savior to run to me like my mother would. I do not feel their love the way I feel my earthly parents’ love. I should not need my mother to advocate for me from the other side of the veil when I have the ultimate Advocate in Jesus Christ. Yet, why do I feel she could do a much better job?
I’m not a fan of the word “succor” but it’s used in scripture to describe what the Savior does for us. It means to “run to.” I like that phrase, “run to.” I think of my mother and how for as long as she was able, she would “run to” my aid. As much as I know my parents love me, I have been taught that my Savior Jesus Christ and my Father in Heaven love me infinitely more. And yet, I do not feel their love the way I feel it from my mother and father. Yes, I feel it in flickering moments, but it’s not an ever present flood of love like I experience when I think of my parents.
I shared these thoughts with a couple friends. They both, independently, pointed out one important fact. What if the love I feel from and for my parents IS the love of God?
As my friend and mentor, Jennifer Lamprey, put it:
“You have accepted God’s love through your mother, through your father, through the stranger, the friend, the coach, the teacher. That is His love. We are the conduits of His love.
The pertinent question then is ‘Is there more love waiting from the stranger, teacher, new friend, old friend? Is the ability to say ‘yes’ to a person living giving that person the ability to love, and in that moment know God?'”
As I move forward in my life, I will strive to be increasingly aware of the moments where I can give and show love to others and receive it more fully. In doing so, I will remember that this love IS my Heavenly Father’s love flowing through.
This video is a tribute to my mother. The song is one that came to me while thinking and praying for her.